Best Nutrients for Weight Loss

Many people who want to lose weight pay more attention to how many calories they consume than to the amount of nutrients in their foods — an approach that often boomerangs. Research shows that low-nutrient diets are likely to hinder weight loss efforts by robbing your body of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients required for weight loss.

10 Nutrients that Speed Weight Loss

If you feel tired, can't seem to focus, have little or no sex drive, and can't lose weight no matter how few calories you consume, the problem probably stems from how few nutrients you're taking in. Fortunately, the most essential nutrients for weight loss are easy to consume via juicing.

The following nutrients, all abundant in fruits and vegetables, will help speed weight loss and give you the energy and stamina you need to maintain a healthy diet and exercise program.

  1. Fiber. Although it's essential for health and weight loss, most people consume less than half the 25 or more grams of fiber required. Low fiber intake is also associated with a host of diseases, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.

    Getting more fiber via juicing will also help you feel full longer and decrease your craving for sugary, fattening foods. By increasing your fiber intake gradually, you'll avoid the unpleasant side effects of consuming more fiber, such as intestinal upset, bloating, and gas.

  2. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition linked a low intake of essential nutrients with lowered metabolism and an increased waist circumference — proof that eating a diet low in nutrients as well as calories can sabotage weight loss and actually lead to weight gain.

  3. Omega-3 fatty acids. Too little of this good fat can lead to a host of problems ranging from dry, itchy skin to heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids also help increase satiety so you feel full longer and won't be tempted to snack on fattening foods. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids help you look and feel younger by giving your skin the moisture and oils it needs to prevent premature wrinkling.

  4. Folic acid. Folic acid can help reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer and speed up a sluggish metabolism. In addition, studies show that pregnant women who consume too little folic acid are at a higher risk of having children with neurological defects.

  5. Calcium. Despite the “got milk?” campaign, most Americans still consume less than half the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 1,000 milligrams a day. Calcium strengthens bones, teeth, and nails and helps prevent osteoporosis, and it also regulates blood pressure, which helps you shed unwanted pounds.

  6. Vitamin D. This wonder vitamin can help facilitate weight loss as well as prevent numerous chronic diseases, including diabetes, various cancers, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypertension. It is available in supplement form, but you can also get it the old-fashioned way: by getting some fresh air. Your body absorbs ultraviolet sunlight, which it then converts to vitamin D.

  7. Iron. If you feel tired, sluggish, and have little or no motivation to diet or exercise, you may be suffering from a common condition called iron deficiency anemia. About one in five people suffers from a lack of iron. Juicing and eating lots of citrus fruit and salad veggies increases your body's absorption of iron. Having more energy means you'll be more likely to exercise regularly and burn more calories.

  8. Vitamin C. Vitamin C increases your body's absorption of iron, which gives you more energy and stamina. It also helps reduce infections that can cause anything from colds to pneumonia, all of which interrupt healthy eating and exercise programs.

  9. Pantothenic acid. This B vitamin plays a role in the metabolism of fat and has been shown to facilitate weight loss.

  10. Vitamin E. This vitamin also plays a role in fat metabolism. A deficiency of vitamin E is also associated with higher body fat levels.

  11. Zinc. Research indicates that zinc deficiency is associated with a higher level of body fat.

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